On Monday, October 30th, Joe Trost, Managing Director of the PepsiCo Showdown Soccer Tournament, surprised UI Student Board member Priya Charles with a classroom visit recognizing her as a recipient for this year’s National Speak Up for Service Day.
Priya was one of 11 student-athletes in the Chicagoland area recognized for her volunteer service. As a member of the Urban Initiatives Student Board, Priya has spent numerous hours working directly with Work to Play and Take the Lead students at National Teacher’s Academy. Volunteering efforts include: coordinating soccer clinics, mentoring 5th-8th grade students, and helping raise over $2,660 for NTA in the 2017 Bus Campaign.
After the Jones Varsity Soccer team chose UI has a charity for the PepsiCo Showdown Tournament, Priya immediately felt a connection to the NTA community and expressed interest to get involved and further UI’s mission of empowering youth through sport.
“What I like the most about volunteering with Urban Initiatives is being able to use my soccer skills to lead, while meeting elementary school kids that I might never have gotten to interact with. It’s an incredible feeling seeing younger athletes work together towards a common goal. This sport has taught me discipline and responsibility, that I can apply on and off the field as I get older. Volunteering with UI allows me to share this discipline and responsibility to youth across Chicago. I truly believe soccer is a great equalizer, it doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment. It’s accessible to all and is a great way for students of all backgrounds to escape from the stresses of daily life.”
Thank you Priya for being a role model to our students! We are lucky to have such a dedicated, driven, and influential leader on our team!